There is something very real but often unspoken about that pesky personality trait that causes some to stray outside of the flock. No matter how hard they may try to adapt, blend and even belong to those most comfortable with the security of the herd, it never quite works out.
They see life differently. They don't understand the constant need for affirmation, sincere or not. They fail miserably at the superficial. In constant search of the why, how and what if, their tolerance for the trendy and often popular encumbers any compliance.
It can be lonely. It can feel like a constant swim upstream. It is exhausting. The need to build, create and rise above the status quo isn't a choice. It is as real of a trait as brown eyes versus blue. Living the expected 9-5 for some is akin to a flipping your pool float and becoming stuck underneath.
When I left teaching, everyone was certain I had lost my mind. I loved teaching. I did not like being at the mercy of someone else's ideal. My instincts were to teach, my job was to follow orders. The two often were at odds. Each day I felt as if I were wearing someone else's shoes. Multiple degrees, several certifications and even a passion for education just weren't enough. I jumped from a perfectly good airplane.
I chose to enter real estate. Why? I wanted too. I was renovating a home and found it nurtured my need to create, build and rise from the expected. I dove in head first without even as much as a proper swimsuit. When you are cursed with this trait the absence of a net is often the fuel needed to fly. Who knew? I could fly.
Fast forward, that day to day drag began to set in. I had reached every goal I had set for myself. There was nothing left to achieve. Unfortunately, money isn't a substitution for that need to delve deep into briars and carve a new path. Money doesn't drive an entrepreneur, if it does their path is short.
I jumped from a perfectly good airplane. Once again, those blessed with the ability to live the expected, truly questioned my sanity. After all, I had 'made it'. Unfortunately, they were right. I had made it. I had made it into a job everyone expected me to continue. It had become my identity. What happens when people like me find themselves fulfilling the expectations of others? We retreat into the abyss of numbness. The very oxygen we breathe is rendered as useless as public opinion.
SugarBelle is the landing of one of my longest leaps. I took a break from the top of my career to start at ground zero of a certain failure. Again, without a net. What is more unacceptable than taking a break from a career to start an entirely new business? Succeeding at both. How dare I?
No matter what your dream is, jumping is the only way. If you were born with that pesky trait, you truly have no choice. It is ok for people not to understand. It is ok for many to think your priorities are misplaced. It is ok to not be the most popular. What isn't ok is trying to run with a herd that is going a direction you simply care nothing to visit.
Right now, there isn't one single positive facing those that choose to create rather than emulate. Going against the grain right now is sure to leave substantial scars. You won't find commonality with many. Matter of fact, few, if any will understand. Your work ethic will seem 'extreme'. Your willingness to miss the latest social event to solve problems will not be popular. Your indifference to maintaining appearances will not garner applause from the masses. But. You will find those of like mind. You will recognize the sparkle in their eye. The scent of resilience will be unmistakable and the recognition of understanding immediate.
There isn't an odd that isn't against you. Not only is there no net but there is a fire, snakes and uncomfortable shoes waiting just for you.
So why jump? You will never be comfortable on someone else's plane. Failure is as certain as the sunrise but so is success. Failure to those that create their own path is but a small thorn whereas failure to those that remain on the path of another is terminal. By continuing a path that is not your own, you admit defeat. You are announcing that you are a follower and lack the will to push through. In the quiet corners of your very being, it will be an ache you simply can not ease.
Jump. So what if the landing is bumpy. Would you not rather be bruised and battered on your own path? There is no point in looking down. There is nothing to gain from asking for acceptance from those more comfortable with the crowd. Once you rise from initial impact you will have wings stronger than you ever imagined. Flying on your own is so much better than a perfectly good airplane, and much less crowded.